Home Opener - Need suggestions

Hi, I'm coming up for the home opener on August 3rd for the home opener. Never been to a CFL game or Hamilton before, so I need some help so that I can make the most of it. I have my tickets already, so what is the best way to get to and from the game. I'll be staying at a hotel in Downtown Hamilton.

Is downtown and the area around the stadium safe? There are different online reviews about this. (When I called the T-cats they told me don't think about walking the couple of miles)

My wife isn't going to the game, would it be easy for her to drive us down and pick us up (would leave just before the game ended). Are the streets easy to maneuver around on at night?

I heard I can ride the bus for free to and from, is this easy to figure out?

Is the stadium expensive on the inside?

Any other tips would be appreciated, I want to make this a good experience and enjoy it.


I don't recommend walking downtown at night but Pretty safe around the stadium and there's always a swarm of Cats fans and police so I've never had any issues. Unless of course you're an Arhols fan muahahahahaha

Leaving early is a no no but if you have too than the wife could park on any of the streets near the stadium to pick you up. But I'd suggest taking a bus in early ( Main or Cannon bus I know it use to be free)and hang out in Scott Park for some tailgating before the game, theyre always friendly unless you're an Arhols fan muahahahahaha

Just kidding Hamiltonians are salt of the Earth type people. We get along with everyone, even Arhol fans.dont start nothing be cool and you'll be part of the family.

Prices are cheaper than Toronto but still pricey

Not sure what else to say, there's lots to do. It just depends on when you're in town and age bracket.

Hope that helps a bit

If it was me I'd get the wife to drive me to the game. The buses will be packed and it will take you longer to get back downtown plus the buses will be on the holiday schedule so longer wait times. She could drop you off and pick you up at the little strip mall at the corner of Barton St. & Gage Ave. It will be a little busy after the game but a lot better than waiting for a bus. The city is basically safe but you sure can find trouble if you want to go looking for it. Lots of great restaurants in the area which I would suggest you go to before the game.

As far as getting there, easiest way to the stadium is to take the King St or Tigertown express bus down to the stadium (In the case of the King St bus, you'll want to get off at Melrose or Balsam and walk towards the bay and away from the escarpment). Your gameday ticket is free, I believe for 3 hours before and after the game. I would not try to walk it, as it's about a 5KM walk. It's about 20 minutes or so via Bicycle using one of the Bike Share bikes, so that is possible if you have a credit card, I think they just put a Bike hub next to the stadium. Not sure if it's a temp for the Pan Ams or not.


If you are going to do a drop off, I don't recommend going directly to the stadium, but dropping you off about a block or so away. Traffic can get gnarly on game day. You won't have any trouble though driving down Main.

As far as downtown Hamilton, I've been living down here for 6 years now. I've never had any issues, even late at night (where the streets are pretty empty). That said, I am a larger fellow. The only comment I would make is stay away from Hess village near last call on the weekend. A lot of the younger crowd comes down and fisticuffs have been common, but some articles in the paper have said it's gotten better, but other then that, these are the places to go if you want to have a drink on the patio.

As far as the area around the stadium, south of the stadium, you'll be fine, especially on game day. The area around the stadium is an older residential neighbourhood with mixed income. As far as North of it, well Barton St isn't the nicest of streets, and that place gets sketchier as the night goes on. Many a strange tale can be told of those who dare the Barton St. Bus after a game. As far as dangerous though, never had that problem.

As far as stadium prices, it's your typical stadium pricing. About 10 bucks a beer/for food item etc. Not as pricey as Rogers Centre, but pricey. If you are coming up from the US, expect some sticker shock on the price of booze. Free healthcare means high liquor taxes. There are some bars around the stadium, but they are a bit divey. Good enough to pre-drink before the game (my choice is the Touchdown Pub) but for food or a night on the town, less so. Usually there is a bit of a tailgate going on in the neighbourhood or at Scott Park nearby before the game, but not to the same levels as some NFL tailgates I'm told.

James St N has a bunch of Pubs around Hess and Augusta St (including the Corktown) have plenty of bars and usually live music. There is a free paper called the view that has a whole bunch of listings, but you'll be kinda catching the tail end of the Pan-Am games, so not sure if any big events will be happening.


Failing anything, a trip out to a Niagara Winery or the Forty Creek Distillery wouldn't be a bad thing to do with the Misses

If you are looking for good food, here are the choice spots in the general downtown area.

Pizza - Earth to Table Bread Bar
Italian - La Cantina Ristorante, Capri or La Piazza Allegra
Thai - Thai Memory or My Thai
German - The Black Forest Inn
Sandwiches, Burgers and Breakfast - Jack and Lois
Mexican - Mex-I-Can (if it's reopened), Mezcal (espcially if you like Tequilla) or Papagayo
Lebanese - Bastoni's and La Luna
Indian - I'm told Gates of India is quite good
Portuguese - Ventura's Signature Restaurant
Ethiopian - Wass Ethiopian Restaurant
Chinese - I'm told Forbidden City, but I heard rumors it went downhill
Sushi - Sapporo Japanese Restaurant (Great service, but stay away from the Thai dishes) or August 8

Other good places are the Buffalo Anchor Bar, Rapscallion and Incognito (pricey though).

Hope some of that helps.

Didn't want to open up another thread. Though maybe I could get some answers here as it's generally the same topic ( question ) and geared to the folks with knowledge about the stadium and area. I purchased a home opener flex pack and was wondering about accessible parking. My wife has developed mobility issues after suffering a stroke but I thought we'd try continuing our annual trips to TiCats games. When I purchased the tickets my rep suggested calling back in a months time ( which I did ) because there may be a possibility that some parking close to the stadium might become available. I guess it didn't. Do you know if there is a drop off zone where I could drop off my wife in a secure area and then go park? And is there still parking available on Barton next to the Tim Hortons and gas car wash ( sorry can't remember the gas brand )? Thanks any info would be helpful. I'll contact the Ticats again closer to the date but just thought if I could get a heads up that would be great!

Why not stay in downtown Burlington? beautiful area and some great restaurants and bars in the downtown area, walk the waterfront. Very close to get on to the QEW and take the first exit after the Skyway bridge and you are on Burlington st and a short drive to the stadium. Park north of the stadium and easy to leave after the game such an easy drive and close.

Easiest way to get to and from the stadium from downtown is to use the Ti-Cats Express both directions. Usually a couple of days before the game they put out the schedule of all the busses on the transit website and usually the Ti-Cats have a link to it on their website. Here is the one they put out for the preseason game.

[url=http://www.hamiltontransit.ca/ticats-express-schedule-june-8th-2015/]http://www.hamiltontransit.ca/ticats-ex ... -8th-2015/[/url]

(Note that game had a 7:30PM start whereas the August 3rd game is a 7:00PM start - so likely it would be a similar schedule just shifting everything 30 minutes earlier)


From downtown you could either hop on one of the University Plaza busses at Main & John (although it might be full by the time it gets there), so your best bet is to get on the King and Hughson express bus.

After the game all the shuttle busses are lined up along King near Melrose just a block south of the stadium and you could use either the King and Hughson or the University Plaza busses as both stop downtown along King Street. After the games you never have to wait more than a few minutes to get on a bus as they are lined up there and you are back downtown in no time. I used them every game last year without a problem. Quick and easy.

@ mikeamykyle

If you would pm me with your contact information I would like to offer my services as an (un)paid chauffeur. I am going to the game in a 5 passenger Camry by myself so I could swing by your downtown hotel and take you to the game and return you after the game. Hamilton people (myself included) are some of the most neighbourly people in Canada. :wink:

(This offer does not extend to blew team fans, I'm afraid). :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

Because it's Burlington!

Ti-Guy , I have a similar situation with my mom and I just drive her right up to the front door and then go park the car. The cops are more than happy to help. Try contacting the team they can set you up with a pass as well.

Thanks Garney will do, appreciate the info. If you're at the opener drop by Section 205A ( accessible section ) and say hello! :thup: :smiley:

we usually park at the Center Mall (Free parking) and walk to the stadium (10 minutes), The area is considered "the bad part of town", but it's usually safe. If you want to eat cheaply there are vendors outside the stadium where you can get a coke, sausage for about 5 dollars.

Because Hamilton has everything here. Why would you go to Burlington?

Why? because it's very easy to get to THF from downtown Burlington, it has a few good hotels on the waterfront a lot of restaurants and bars, you can walk around the waterfront/downtown area safely at any hour of the day.

I agree with SlimJim Burlington is very nice especially in the summer down by the waterfront, Spencer Smith park, Restaurants, hotels etc. Although THF is a great spot and a beautiful stadium in the CFL for the Tiger-Cats the surrounding areas near the stadium are not too attractive and are more for hanging out with a bike gang than looking for a nice dining spot!

The drive to Hamilton from Burlington is also very accessable or by GO Transit or other transportation means.


Way to perpetuate the myth of the North/East End of Hamilton, BIGCAT. And people wonder why tourism is so poor in this city, when we have people posting idiotic comments like THIS in reply to an out-of-owner who simply wants to come in to watch HIS FIRST LIVE CFL GAME, let alone HIS FIRST TIGER-CATS GAME, at THF.

Way to give Hamilton the finger, guys. I guess your Burlington noses are so high in the air (you know, so that you can peer down them at Hamilton so often), that they serve perfectly for bird-dropping depositories...

On the other hand, I could simply call you out for the trolls you are...

Not sure what he expects for an industrial city. Burlington, on the other hand, has been described as a “bedroom community”, so, of course, it has a softer, more appealing image and surroundings.

Best be careful now…he just might label your honesty as a cheap shot and get all mad!!!

Nothing wrong with any Area in Hamilton bad things happen in every city in every country and yes even in Bel Air California there is crime , plus Id rather hang out with a biker gang than a bunch of Snobs :slight_smile:

It's just another suggestion, Burlington has a beautiful waterfront great restaurants and very close to Hamilton and easy to get to THF, why all the negativity because someone suggests Burlington?
The funny thing is that no one was "trashing" Hamilton they were just giving other suggestions in the area. Must be a guilt thing.
No I don't live in Burlington so if you don't like Burlington then be free to trash it!! I actually grew up in Hamilton, on the East mountain. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Calling some locations "biker hangouts" is certainly not being complimentary.